The UK’s first operator-run 4G network from EE (formerly Everything Everywhere) has gone live in 11 cities today, offering “superfast” mobile download speeds to consumers and businesses.
In its first phase, the 4G service is going live in Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton. The service will be available in a further five cities before Christmas, with more cities and rural locations planned for 2013.
EE intends its 4G service to be available to 98% of the population by the end of 2014.
“Today is a landmark day for our company, the UK mobile industry and, most importantly, the country’s businesses and consumers,” said Olaf Swantee, CEO at EE.
EE claims that the benefits of 4G LTE include access to the web on the go in an instant, the ability to download large email attachments quicker than ever, watch live TV on the move without buffering and play live multiplayer games on the go.
However, these benefits come at a cost. The company’s cheapest consumer package, which includes unlimited calls, texts and a 500MB data allowance, will cost £36, rising to £56 for EE’s top-of-the-range 8GB package.
Small business packages range from £35 per month (excluding VAT) for 1GB to £50 for 16GB. Medium sized, public sector and corporate customers can sign up to 4G data plans from an additional £3 a month on top of their existing packages.